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Is Sodium Really Harmful?

By Tom Herrin

There is plenty to be concerned about today in terms of what to add and what to avoid in a diet.  Most people are aware that sugar should be monitored; many watch fats, and there is a pretty big trend toward wheat products.  For quite some time, people have known that sodium is something that bears close watching.  People restricted to low sodium diets is now commonplace.  What many people are less aware of is that sodium does not always mean salt.  If people are concerned about their sodium intake, there is good reason for it.

Sodium Can Damage Organs

The kidneys can take quite beating from people who take in excess amounts of sodium.  It can cause the body to retain more water.  The fluid around the heart can increase stress on it and increase the chance of heart problems.  It has commonly been associated with stomach ulcers for years.  The best thing to offset sodium is potassium, which can have virtually the opposite effect from sodium.  High sodium intake can cause blood vessels to constrict or harden.  Potassium has the opposite effect in that it can help them to relax, thus decreasing blood pressure.

Sodium Also Affects Other Things

It has been shown that people who have high sodium intakes have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.  Another common problem with high sodium intake is loss of calcium.  It seems that the amount of calcium people lose through urination increases with their intake of sodium.  This is believed to contribute to the higher instances of osteoporosis.  Conversely, it is believed that people who lower their intake of sodium are able to show increases in their level of calcium.  Bone density seems to have a definite negative relationship to salt consumption.

All Diets Should Be Well Thought Out

People should give careful consideration to what they eat and why.  Reading labels can provide education for anyone.  Sodium is used in so many kinds of foods that people can easily consume far more than is considered a healthy amount for most people.  The large amount of processed foods in most people’s diets are full of it.  Eating more fruits and vegetables can increase the intake of potassium.  This was already mentioned as a means of countering the effects of sodium.  Be aware and be healthy.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntersville, N.C.


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